Despite his insistence that he would not support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, Senator Joe Manchin stunned Republicans with a sudden flip-flop last week, cutting a deal to advance a revived version of the Green New Deal under the Orwellian named title the “Inflation Reduction Act” that GOP lawmakers have condemned, at least in part because it puts the screws to ordinary Americans through higher taxes.
(Video: Fox News)
Hopes that the West Virginia Democrat, a supposed moderate would be able to hold the line until after the midterm elections against a determined White House intent on replacing cheap and reliable fossil fuels with alternative energy sources and forcing Americans into expensive electric cars were dashed after Manchin rolled over, handing the embattled Biden and his party a major political win heading into the crucial midterm elections.
Manchin appeared on Fox News where he engaged in a heated back-and-forth conversation with host Harris Faulkner, insisting that the gargantuan legislative package which will be crammed through via reconciliation without Republican support will cut inflation and won’t raise taxes on those who are already being pummeled with high gas and food prices.
During Tuesday’s edition of “The Faulkner Focus,” the senator denied that he went squishy while wrapping himself in the flag over his sudden reversal.
“I always wanted to do something I could for my country and this is all about my country, it’s not about my politics or someone else’s politics or my friends on the Republican side, or my friends on the Democrat side or whoever’s upset with me, it had nothing to do about any of us,” he said. “This is about what we can do for the country and right now inflation is the greatest threat that we have.”
Faulkner wasn’t buying Manchin’s snow job.
“Everybody’s focused on inflation right now. Every poll shows it. So, you know, I’m looking at the Penn Wharton budget model, which you, senator, have been known to watch, it examined the details of the Schumer-Manchin deal,” she began.
“And actually, it said something very different than you just said. It said that the impact on inflation, this is a quote, ‘The impact on inflation is statistically indistinguishable from zero through 2031.’ Penn Wharton modelers are saying we don’t agree with those who think deficit reduction will lead in a straight line to lowering future inflation,” Faulkner said. “But that’s what the Democrats claim for their bill.”
She added, “So it can’t, so both things can’t be true. And this is something that they’re studying. So are you wrong or are you not giving all, all of the hard truth to Americans about what this is going to cost them?”
“Let’s say maybe they’re wrong,” Manchin responded, rattling off a list of economic experts who agree with the Dems and the White House.
Faulkner then put Manchin on the spot, “So, let me ask you specifically what cuts inflation in this bill?”
“Let me ask you this. How in the world could it be inflation when you’re cutting? My Republican friends always said we got to start paying down debt. I’ve been a budget hawk my whole life. We’re paying down $300 billion,” Manchin said.
“You asked me a different question, so I’m going to answer you,” Faulkner said. “So how is it not a straight line? Because I’m not saying, and even Wharton isn’t saying that it won’t eventually get there in a jagged line. But you know how it doesn’t, because we are cooking a higher rate of inflation right now ahead of wages. And even if everybody were to go out and get a job or two or three jobs right now, their wages can’t keep up with what the cost of milk, bread, gasoline? Don’t you think?”
“We ought to get those costs down? How do you do that? By producing. You’ve got to produce your way out of this. You can’t sit back and wait your way out,” Manchin said as the conversation became heated.
“So are you gonna open pipelines?” Faulkner shot back.
“Absolutely, we’re gonna build pipelines, were’ gonna do more drilling,” Manchin said.
“How are you gonna sell that to the president of the United States who on day one, flipped the switch,” she said, likely referring to Biden’s canceling of the Keystone XL Pipeline on the day that he was sworn in.
“It’s already been…it’s part of the deal,” a visibly agitated Manchin replied, “it’s part of the bill, all you have to do is read the bill Harris and you’ll see. You’re not gonna be able to do any more offshore wind or offshore… or onshore solar and wind unless we’re absolutely doing more production with drilling and extraction.”
“It’s all part of a balanced approach,” he insisted. “We need more energy today, so and we also need to invest in the energy for the future. This is a balanced approach, it’s everyone’s been talking about but everyone’s upset for whatever reason cause they’re afraid it’s a political bill.”
“This is not a Democrat bill, this is not a Republican bill, this is not a green deal, this is a red, white and blue deal Harris and everyone’s having a hard time understanding that we can walk and chew gum and do the great thing together if we’ll still start looking at our country first and stop worrying our politics,” he said.
“What they see is a senator who they thought was moderate who might push back on some of the talk about forcing us into a green situation,” Faulkner added over the senator’s insistence that he has indeed pushed back against the climate zealots.
In a matter of days, Manchin may have burned his hard-earned credibility to the ground with his clearing of the way for the green agenda.
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